The Times’ Sam Farmer analyzes the needs of the division teams in four parts before the NFL draft, to be held from April 23 to 25. Today, the teams from Orient in order will develop:
Redskins: With Ron Rivera as head coach and Jack Del Rio as defensive coordinator, it makes sense to think that Washington will be focused on building a defensive beast. It will probably start with Chase Young, the best defensive talent in this draft. But many teams in need of a quarterback may want to trade in that No. 2 spot. And do the Redskins really have a quarterback response?
Giants: The Giants need defending playmakers. Markus Golden was their only player to reach five sacks last season. They can get a stallion with the fourth choice. Again, they still have to fortify the protective wall of second-year quarterback Daniel Jones, so the offensive lineman is also a possibility. At this point, they have a line as porous as cheesecloth.
Cowboys: In Dallas, “Big D” does not represent defense. The Cowboys need help on this side of the ball, and are able to draft a replacement for the late cornerback Byron Jones. But they also need defensive tackles that stop the race and precipitants that can get past the quarterback. Watch for the Cowboys to focus on that side of the top ball in the project.
agles: Fortunately, this project is deep with the receivers, because the Eagles need help for Carson Wentz. Last season, he became the first quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards without an individual catcher reaching 500. The desperate need for the cornerback was quelled by the exchange of Darius Slay and the signing of Nickell Robey-Coleman.
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa could end up in Miami with the Dolphins.
Dolphins: Miami has three choices in the first round, so it has the ammo to trade from place # 5 to get the quarterback it wants. It looks like it will come back to Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert or Jordan Love. The Dolphins also need a left tackle after trading Laremy Tunsil last season. Let’s face it, they need help everywhere on the ground.
Jets: Sam Darnold was sacked 52 times last season, fourth in the NFL, so the Jets must strengthen their offensive line. They are able to do this with the 11e pick up, even after signing a tackle, center and keep in free agency. The Jets were also terrible at the corner last season, and didn’t alleviate that need despite signing the Arthur Maulet and Pierre Desir corners.
Patriots: For the second time in three years, the Patriots have 23rd to choose. They are on the market for a quarterback and could try to trade for Tagovailoa. It would take a long time, however, and they are more likely to stay put or trade for a defensive player and more choices. It makes sense that they are looking for a versatile linebacker to replace Kyle Van Noy.
Invoices: No choice in the first round for the Bills, thanks to trade for wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Their pass accelerators have turned gray, and the addition of Mario Addison, 33, does not help in this regard, so this is an area they will seek to fill. The Bills could also use a bookend for the Tre’Davious White cornerback, their excellent first-round pick three years ago.
NEXT: South divisions.